Singapore—The wait is finally over. After months of speculation as to whether or not Lee Hsien Yang, the younger brother of current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, would openly support the Progress Party Singapore (PSP), in direct opposition to the party of his father, the People’s Action Party (PAP), Lee Hsien Yang has spoken up, releasing his full-throated and unequivocal support for PSP.
This newly-registered party was founded by Dr Tan Cheng Bock, a former PAP MP, as well as several other former PAP members.
The younger son of Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, Lee Hsien Yang wrote in his Facebook account in the early evening hours of Sunday, July 26,
“I wholeheartedly support the principles and values of the Progress Singapore Party.
Today’s PAP is no longer the PAP of my father. It has lost its way.”
Rumors that Mr Lee would ally himself with Dr Tan began to circulate last November, when, the two were seen having breakfast together, which happened again after a short period. This led to many Singaporeans openly calling for the two men to band together as a united opposition force.
In mid-January, Dr Tan announced the formation of PSP, and that he was re-joining the political arena. Mr Lee responded to this announcement by posting on his Facebook page,
“Congratulations to Tan Cheng Bock and the Progress Singapore Party. I have known Cheng Bock for many years and he has consistently put the interests of the people first. We are fortunate that he has stepped forward to serve Singapore.”
In what many perceived to be an unsubtle dig at his brother, Mr Lee also wrote that Dr Tan “is the leader Singapore deserves.”
“Today, Cheng Bock will groom future Parliamentarians who will serve our country and people before party or self. This is good for the future of Singapore. Cheng Bock is the leader Singapore deserves.”
More recently socio-political activist Gilbert Goh wrote on Facebook that the friendship between the two men “provides a ray of hope for Singapore.”
He wrote: “The partnership of Dr Tan & LHY provides a ray of hope for Singapore & if they win a GRC together, Parliament will be interesting!”
Perhaps Mr Lee’s open show of support for Dr Tan and PSP should not be so surprising, given the acrimonious split within the most famous family in all of Singapore. Mr Lee and his older sister, Lee Wei Ling, have been embroiled in a bitter feud against the Prime Minister for the past two years. They have alleged that PM Lee has used state organs against them.
And just in the last year, the division within the Lee family only intensified as the the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) initiated legal action against both Lee Hsien Yang’s wife, Lee Suet Fern, and their son, Li Shengwu.
At the press conference for PSP on Friday, July 26, Dr Tan was asked about Mr Lee joining the party. He replied,
“I think Hsien Yang and I, we are good friends, And I think you all have seen him walking the ground.
And I must say that if he wants to join me, he’s always free to join me. But he must adhere to my PSP terms”./ TISG